Pedestrian Accidents Becoming More Common

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COLUMBIA - Officials cautioned Friday the dangers of highway shoulders in wake of a fatal I-70 accident. Two pedestrians, Edward Taggart and Gilbert Love, were struck and killed Thursday while attempting to refuel one of their vehicles.

MoDOT Highway Safety Director Leanna Depue said accidents on highway shoulders have jumped noticeably over the last year. "We are concerned. We have seen a fairly large increase. We were at 21 pedestrian fatalities at this time last year. This year, we're at 34."

The Missouri Highway Patrol cautioned motorists to get as far off the highway as possible when having vehicle troubles. Missouri has a "Move Over" law that requires motorists to switch lanes while law enforcement officers are stopped. The law is punishable by up to $500 in some states. And the patrol said, though it is not the law, motorists should use the same caution when approaching any disabled or stopped vehicle. Public information officers said there is not much motorists can do to stay safe if they need to get out of the car on the side of the highway.

MoDOT urges motorists to stay far off the road and keep flashlights and bright colored safety vests in their cars at all times.